Why is my pain unending and my wound grievous and incurable? You are to me like a deceptive brook, like a spring that fails. Therefore this is what the Lord says: “If you repent, I will restore you that you may serve me; if you utter worthy, not worthless, words, you will be my spokesman. Let this people turn to you, but you must not turn to them.” Jeremiah 15:18-19

Jeremiah wasn’t afraid to accuse God of being a deceptive brook. Jeremiah feels that God promised to refresh and revive him like water from a spring but God has failed, leaving him with an incurable wound. Jeremiah speaks from the depth of his pain and has no problem being emotionally honest with God. Nowhere do we find God being offended with being called deceptive. He understands our pain as well as our short-sightedness.

The Lord tells Jeremiah to repent of his self-pitying attitude. This is hard to hear when we’re in pain. We feel justified in our complaints particularly if our pain has come about as a result of being obedient to God’s calling on our life. Often we feel if only other people would change their ways and be more considerate then our lives would run more smoothly.

Yet God can’t restore us to usefulness if we’re wallowing in self-pity. It’s a sign that we have become self-absorbed and lost sight of the larger purposes of God. We blend in with those we’re trying to help, uttering worthless words, rather than being God’s representative in the situation.

God’s promise is, “I will restore.” He allows us time to express our pain, hurt and disappointments but there comes a time to move on, change our attitude and look forward to the new things God has for us.